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DevOps Testing Strategy: Best Practices, Benefits & Tools

08 Jun 2021

DevOps helps automate and simplify the overall software delivery process. And, while testing is a critical and ever-evolving component of every SDLC, there is a significant focus to structure a DevOps testing strategy.

Testing in DevOps aims to strike the right balance between goals and processes. It promotes the collaboration of all three teams (development, QA & operations) while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. And, further, it involves the adoption of agile best practices related to continuous integration.

This enables the development teams to check the code within the shared repository multiple times. Every check-in gets verified later using an automated build, thereby, permitting teams to identify errors and potential conflicts.

If you are here looking to reap the full benefits of a testing strategy to deliver high-quality software at a pace, then this article will help you.

So, let’s dive right in!

Table of Contents:

  • What is Testing in DevOps?
  • Business Benefits of Leveraging DevOps Testing
  • DevOps Testing Best Practices
  • DevOps Testing Tools

What is Testing in DevOps?

The testing would provide the right balance by aligning goals, developing team skills, and feedback cycles. Continuous testing in DevOps involves testing software at all stages of the life cycle with automation.

DevOps adopts a shift-left testing approach which is nowadays being critical to software development success. In this practice, testing starts along with the development. This enables teams to detect bugs as early as possible. This helps each team to understand, assess and know how their work impacts the rest of the delivery cycle.

Research shows 54% of companies have adopted the DevOps model.

Business Benefits of Leveraging DevOps Testing

DevOps Testing Benefits
  • Increases Team Collaboration: DevOps testing creates a strong foundation to enhance business agility by providing an increased collaboration and communication ecosystem among distributed teams. The structure involves all team members to meet the quality standards and timelines of project deliverables.
  • Facilitates Quick Detection of Bugs: It offers more benefits when compared to the traditional model. The deployment of continuous monitoring & constant code testing helps in detecting and correcting defects quickly and efficiently.
  • Accelerates Time to Market: The three strong pillars namely automation, quick feedback cycle and continuous delivery ensure that the software development process gets streamlined more efficiently. With an agile methodology, DevOps in testing enables automation to smoothen testing workflows in SDLC. All of this while maintaining continuous feedback to fix glitches on time and manage faster releases.
  • Ensures Continuous Release and Deployment: Today’s software engineering practices require teams to constantly deliver quality software, shorten go-to-market timelines and adapt shorter development release cycles. DevOps facilitates this through optimization. CI/CD pipeline automation allows the teams to build and integrate code instantly. Further, when QA is integrated, the quality aspect of the code gets addressed. This accelerates the efficiency, quality which leads to quick & continuous releases.

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Best Practices for Developing DevOps Testing Strategy

Enterprises often find it challenging to choose a solid foundation for test automation. Therefore creating an optimal DevOps testing strategy demands a detailed assessment of the software or application. We at Rishabh are witnessing an amalgamation of different vital factors that need to be set up to plan a competent testing arrangement.

Listed are some of the points in this reference to help you structure a successful strategy.

  • Leverage Test Automation Across All Testing Types
    Continuous testing means testing as often as feasible. In a DevOps environment, developers constantly unite the code to a central repository.  Though if the software or applications in your pipeline are frequently being updated through Continuous Integration (CI) then this could become a major roadblock for the working team. The application of test automation across different types of testing in DevOps. It includes unit, functional, acceptance and integration testing that helps prevent the risk of errors on application quality and performance.
  • Maintain your Test Automation Suite
    Automation within the CI/CD pipeline and outside plays a significant role in Agile and DevOps. It is important to ensure that the review, audit, maintenance, and refactoring of the test automation suite is performed appropriately. The suite must be integrated with tools like Selenium and Appium for performing Regression testing and with Loadrunner and jMeter for Performance testing.
  • Utilize Kanban Boards
    As part of the agile methodology, the KANBAN board offers easy communication on project status, updates, and other issues. The approach helps the team to focus on enhancing process workflows and highlight bottlenecks in the pipeline. This includes systems uptime, code quality, application time-to-market, customer feedback and more. In total, it enhances collaboration.
  • Select Accurate Testing Tools
    It is important to analyze if the operating team has sufficient knowledge, skills and expertise to use that tool. It is also critical to budget the tools required by including spending on updates, training costs & maintenance. The preferred types of DevOps testing tools could be categorized as:

    • Continuous Delivery Tools
    • Continuous Testing Tools
    • Version Control Tools
    • Monitoring Tools
    • Agile Tools
  • Maintain DevOps Documentation
    Needless to say, documentation in a standardized format makes the testing process more organized, transparent and hence can save cost. It helps with easier review to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t in the DevOps structure. Successful functions frequently create testing-related documents, either at the beginning of the testing phase or provided as the end outcome of test results:

    • Quality Management Plans (QMP)
    • Test summary reports
    • Test case specifications
    • Risk assessment reports
    • Regression test reports
  • Use Metrics to Track Performance
    An accurate rundown on details regarding the number of test cases passed vs failed, bugs detected, frequency of failing test cases and more provides a clear picture of performance. DevOps metrics provide insights into highly vulnerable areas that result in failures.

DevOps Testing Tools

There are numerous tools available for DevOps. It addresses the configuration, integration, and delivery management needs to save time by automating the entire process.

Some of the commonly used tools include:

  • Jenkins: An open-source tool that automates building, testing & deploying software. It enables developers to quickly detect and solve bugs in their codebase.
  • Selenium: One of the most popular browser automation tools extensively used in DevOps pipelines. It is specifically designed to implement Web UI testing.
  • JMeter: A highly versatile Java-based open-source load testing tool is used to test different protocol types. It is designed to analyze and measure website performance.
  • Docker: A DevOps technology suite that is at the center of containerization. It is an open-source platform that enables development teams to create, deploy and run applications irrespective of the project environment.
  • GitHub: Yet another popular tool that supports easy collaboration. Using this tool, development teams can make rapid iterations to the code with real-time notifications shared with concerned team members. In case of any error, instant restoring can be done to the previous version within no time.
  • Kubernetes: For continuous testing, the containerizing services with Kubernetes orchestration play an important role. The core principles of continuous testing are all supported by containers and Kubernetes, including shift left, fail early, fail often, test fast and be relevant. Therefore making it much easier to implement continuous testing.

Why Choose Rishabh?

As a DevOps services and solutions provider, we help enterprises realize the benefits of this methodology. Our end-to-end service focus comprises consulting, implementation, automation and management based on the modern methodologies designed to deliver high-quality software, faster.

Our proficient team possesses unmatched hands-on experience across tools like Jenkins, Kubernetes & Docker to enable successful DevOps implementation. With our proficient team expert engineers, we help the customers enjoy full benefits of the DevOps test automation strategy (depending on the organization’s test maturity).

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